So it's not just me who thinks Ligotti's style resembles Aickman's. Actually I've only read one of Ligotti's collections of short stories ("The Shadow At the Bottom of the World"), but I keep meaning to try some others. If you haven't read him, but are a fan of Aickman, then I would definitely recommend taking a look. And that looks like an interesting Ligotti website, so I will probably have a look around when I have the time. Just clicked on a few links and found an interview with Ligotti from which I've snipped a few quotes below. I think they give a flavour of his approach to writing -
Neddal Ayad: What is it about novels that turns you off? That novels need morals?
Thomas Ligotti: Something like that. People will accept a short horror story that ends badly. They won’t accept this in a horror novel… not after they’ve read so many hundreds of pages. Horror stories in the short form are like campfire tales or urban legends that are just a way of saying “Boo.” They have nothing to do with the real world in the minds of most readers. Nevertheless, I think there’s a great potential in horror fiction that isn’t easily available to realistic fiction. This is the potential to portray our worst nightmares, both private and public, as we approach death through the decay of our bodies. And then to leave it at that—no happy endings, no apologias, no excuses, no redemption, no escape. Some horror writers have done this consistently, but not very many. I’ve been entertained by the works of these writers—it’s all show business after all—and beyond that I’ve felt a momentary satisfaction that someone could be so audacious as to speak ill of the precious gift of life when we’re all brainwashed from childhood never to utter a discouraging word. Of course, it’s not really possible to avoid affirming life, even when you’re writing a horror story defaming it. The act of writing is an affirmation, as is the act of suicide. Both are vital and idealistic gestures. Joseph Conrad said that he shunned the supernatural because it wasn’t necessary to depict the horror of existence. I wish he hadn’t. Because the supernatural is the metaphysical counterpart of insanity—the best possible vehicle for conveying the uncanny nightmare of a conscious mind marooned for a brief while in this haunted house of a world and being slowly driven mad by the ghastliness of it all. Not the man’s-inhumanity-to-man sort of thing, but a necessary derangement, a high order of weirdness and of desolation built in to the system in which we all function. Its emblem is the empty and inexplicable malignity that some of us see in the faces of dolls, manikins, puppets, and the like. The faces of so many effigies of our own shape, made by our own hands and minds, seem to be our way of telling ourselves that we know a secret that is too terrible to tell. The horror writer has the best chance of expressing something of that secret. It’s really a lost opportunity, or perhaps a blessing, that so few take advantage of this potential that lies in horror fiction. Instead, they do the opposite: they discover all the secrets… and how trivial they are. A stake through the heart. A silver bullet. An exorcism. We win. All is well. Nighty-night.
Neddal Ayad: Do you see your writing as necessarily subversive?
Thomas Ligotti: Fiction can’t be subversive. If the reader feels threatened, then he’ll stop reading. The reader will only continue reading if he is being entertained. Subversion in any art form is impossible. Even nonfiction can’t be subversive. It may be used to serve some person or group’s preconceived purposes, usually to gain power, but its ideas will be recast and deliberately skewed. Freud, Marx, and all religious doctrines are obvious examples of this.
Neddal Ayad: I ask because the view has been put forward that horror writing is necessarily conservative.
Thomas Ligotti: Best-selling horror fiction is indeed necessarily conservative because it must entertain a large number of readers. It’s like network television. I’m your local cable access station.